Co-op has revealed that ‘bags for life’ made available to customers to replace single-use carrier bags have inadvertently caused an increase of up to 440 per cent in the amount of plastic put on the market in the last three years.
Sales data published by the retailer have found that ‘bags for life’ are increasingly being used on a single-use basis, as their heavier weight is perceived to offer better value and so are purchased when customers forget reusable carrier bags.
Co-op has recently introduced a compostable carrier bag that is certified to BS EN13432 in areas where local authorities accept them in their food waste collection services, and is pushing for a minimum single-use carrier bag levy of 10p per bag, and a levy of 50p for reusable carrier bags.
Co-op has asserted that its compostable carrier bags will function primarily as food waste caddy liners, and secondarily as carrier bags – to drive engagement and divert food waste from landfill.
This advancement aligns itself with the Government’s ambition to provide a ‘consistent’ food waste collection service across English local authorities by 2023, as outlined in its Resources and Waste Strategy.